One of the most important tasks for a new head coach is recruiting, from the players who have yet to make a choice to those who are already a part of the program. Of course there will be turnover, as evidenced by the rising number of transfers in college basketball, but the key for any new coach is to make sure he’s got enough quality pieces to be competitive.
And there there’s the dilemma of what to do with prospects who have signed a National Letter of Intent with the prior staff. While some will decide to stick around despite a coaching change others will want to reopen their recruitment, and that’s reportedly the case with Missouri signee Namon Wright.
One day after Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times reported that Wright would be requesting his release Jacob Steimer of the Columbia Missourian confirmed the news with Wright’s high school coach. According to Pacific Hills coach Ivan Barahona, Missouri asked Wright to hold off on the request until they completed the hiring process with former Central Missouri head coach Kim Anderson eventually being the hire.
However despite this move to request a release from his NLI, Wright apparently remains interested in Missouri despite the departure of the coaches (Frank Haith and Mark Phelps) who spent so much time recruiting him.
Barahona said Anderson will be in Los Angeles on Tuesday to talk with Wright, and he made it clear that Wright is still heavily considering attending Missouri.
“He likes Missouri a lot, let met tell you,” Barahona said.
Wright told his coach that Missouri’s campus is beautiful, that the people he met there were great, and that he enjoys Missouri’s fans who follow him on Twitter.
Missouri currently has two players committed to joining the program, with Jakeenan Gant deciding to remain signed and D’Angelo Allen committing Sunday. The retention of Gant was obviously a positive development for Anderson and his staff, which includes holdover Tim Fuller.
And if they can convince Wright, a Top 100 product, to join the program Missouri will receive a much-needed boost on the perimeter as they look to account for the early departures of Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown.